Nearly two decades after Roger Fidler made a 1994 video showcasing a prototype device that looks much like the iPad, the video went viral on the Web. It has led some skeptics to wonder whether Apple cribbed Fidler’s idea and it has become central to a patent war between the iPad maker and rival electronics maker Samsung.
Roger Fidler, University of Missouri program director for digital publishing, poses with an iPad and his 1994 tablet mock-up. Almost 20 years ago, while running a lab dreaming up the future of newspapers, Fidler starred in his own video demonstrating a prototype he cooked up that was remarkably like the iPad -- black, thin, rectangular, with text and video displayed on screen. The video was unearthed online and went viral after Steve Jobs introduced Apple's first iPad. Grant Hindsley/For The Washington Post Buy Photo